Just as a writer, struggling inside his or her own head, battles the blank page, we are all faced with moments of indecision, suffocating and paralyzing inaction. How to move forward? How to shake the fear of being wrong if we do? What to do when the anxiety of what MAY happen overwhelms us?
Write your name on the page, draw a stick figure storyline of your frustration, go for a walk, engage your body in any kind of momentum that will take the focus away from the chaos inside your head. Too often we look to see the end result in its complete form before we’ve even started. Allow the process to happen organically, but always look to be the impetus that starts the butterfly effect, rather than a casual observer or passive bystander.
What you will discover may not necessarily be the final product, but at least you now have momentum…your feet (or your brain) are no longer stuck in the creative quagmire and you have created the stepping stones to follow towards something fruitful or at least more workable than the intimidating void.
Whether as an director coaching an actor through a complex monologue, or a teacher helping a student develop a thesis, or an improv professional convincing a workshop attendee that they have to trust their own resources (knowledge, insight, expertise) and KNOW they are at least credible, I have helped too many talented individuals overcome the debilitating paralysis that comes from not trusting your instincts to not grasp that years of evolution have paid off, in that our bodies are a conduit through which our brains have learned to survive.
When we try to isolate the genesis of an idea to a space between our ears, we often turn that space into a padded cell, complete with creative straightjacket. Martin Luther King Jr. expressed the thought this way,
“Faith is taking the first step, even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”
Breathe, trust, move, create.